My favourite actors are (in brackets the name of my favourite film(s) starring each actor):
1) Sean Penn (I Am Sam)
2) Jack Nicholson (As Good As It Gets, One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest)
3) Gael Garcia Bernal (La Mala Educacion)
4) Dustin Hoffman (Kramer vs. Kramer)
5) Jean Paul Belmondo (A Bout De Souffle)
6) P. Ramlee (Ibu Mertuaku, Madu Tiga)
7) Gregory Peck (To Kill A Mockingbird, North by Northwest)
8) Marcello Mastroianni (La Dolce Vita)
9) Javier Bardem (Mar Adentro)
10) Marlon Brando (A Streetcar Named Desire)
Honorable mentions : Benoît Magimel (Les Petits Mouchoirs), Colin Firth (The English Patient), Soumitra Chatterjee (Apu Sansar), Amitabh Bachchan (Black), Ewan McGregor (I Love You Philip Morris), Tom Hanks (Philadelphia).
My favourite actresses are :
1) Sandra Bullock (Demolition Man)
2) Renée Zellweger (The Bridget Jones Diary)
3) Meryl Streep (Sophie's Choice)
4) Marion Cotillard (La Môme)
5) Tilda Swinton (Young Adam)
6) Reese Witherspoon (Sweet Home Alabama)
7) Eva Marie Saint (On The Waterfront)
8) Audrey Hepburn (Breakfast At Tiffany's)
9) Gong Li (Farewell My Concubine)
10) Sarimah (Ali Baba Bujang Lapok)
Honorable mentions: Saadiah (Musang Berjanggut), Penelope Cruz (Non Ti Muovere), Dian Sastrowardoyo (Ada Apa Dengan Cinta), Julie Andrews (Mary Poppins), Umie Aida (Embun), Helena Bonham Carter (Fight Club), Ingrid Bergman (Casablanca), Julia Roberts (Pretty Woman, Erin Brokovich).
Mind you, those are not just some token Malay actresses I put up there. I was actually in love with Sarimah when I was little because I thought she was one of the smartest actresses of her time (not to mention extremely beautiful), because she always played smart characters. In Tiga Abdul she played the cunning wife of the smartest of the Abdul brothers. In Ali Baba Bujang Lapok, she played the resourceful maid to Kassim Baba. In Madu Tiga, she played the third and most intelligent of Mr. Jamil's wives, the one who actually came up with the idea to set ground rules on her husband's polygamy.
Same goes to Saadiah who played a smart wife in Musang Berjanggut. She even seduced the king with her witty words in Siti Muslihat.
This goes to show my love for strong, smart women who aren't afraid to speak up for themselves. The character Sarimah played in Tiga Abdul is a strong-willed woman who knows what she wants, but who is a loving and caring wife to her husband at the same time. She's still sensitive, homely and every bit a woman, but a woman who knows to say it out loud when her husband does something wrong or crosses the line. Women don't have to be weak, clingy and submissive to be loved. They can also be smart, goal-oriented, outgoing and self-sufficient, all the while being a loyal wife and a pious Muslimah.
Shocking isn't it?
One of the reasons why Malay men stay the way they are is because Malay women are happy enablers. In my previous entry about Malay men, some anonymous said I had to read more and not just write according to what I see. I don't want to blow my own horn but I probably read more books in a month than he/she reads in a year. If he/she even bothered to read more about the Prophet Muhammad's wives, he/she would know how Aisyah was a very stubborn and determined woman who would stand her ground no matter what. She was a very jealous woman who would not settle for mediocrity, she would strive to beat others. She was also very keen on knowledge and was an avid learner.
The prophet's first wife, Khadijah, was 15 years older than him, and was a rich, successful merchant. In fact, he depended a lot on her wealth during their marriage. This goes to show that women can, too, be the breadwinner in a marriage. There's nothing wrong with the wife being more financially successful.
Women and men exist for different reasons. We are NOT equals. If we were, God wouldn't have bothered creating two sexes. But one sex is not supposed to be superior to the other, because one completes the other. If women only marry for financial security, and men marry for sex, how is that different from prostitution?